Conyers is now officially home to a new stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as a the Mormons, as of March 6, 2011.
David Shipp, son of original Conyers' member, Jim Shipp, has spent his entire life in the Conyers Ward. Shipp said, "It has been a long time dream to have a stake in Conyers. Conyers has been the catalyst for Church growth for all of the areas surrounding it. Many of the congregations that comprise the stake were once part of the Conyers Ward. Stockbridge, Jackson, Covington, Centerville, and Snellville were all part of the Conyers ward at one time."
A stake is an administrative unit composed of numerous congregations, called wards and branches, within a geographic area similar to what other faiths might call a diocese. The new Conyers Stake joins 10 other stakes in the Atlanta metro area reaching from Athens to Carrollton and Fayetteville to Cumming. Currently there are more than 30,000 members of the Church in the Atlanta metro area. The Conyers Ward was formally part of the Atlanta Stake, the Tucker Stake, and the Lilburn Stake.
The new leader of the Conyers Stake is Scott R. Johnson from the Centerville Ward. Johnson is the Research & Development Manager for Pine, Oilfield and Mining Chemicals for Georgia-Pacific Chemicals. Though his work as stake president is unsalaried, he spends a large amount of time leading the spiritual life of the members of his stake. He and his wife, Melanie, have seven children.
Of the new position, President Johnson said, "I feel humbled by the calling to serve as the stake president of the new Conyers, Georgia Stake. The creation of this new stake will provide opportunities for all of our members to grow as we move forward in faith to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I am excited to have this chance to work with the members of our stake and our friends and neighbors to serve and lift those around us. We invite all to join us as we move forward in God's great and marvelous work for we know miracles lie just outside of our comfort zone."
Johnson is joined in the presidency by Linwood D. Jones of McDonough, a computer scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and David Trust of Covington, an executive with the Professional Photographers Association.
The Conyers Stake was formed by Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi from the leadership councils of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and local leader Elder M. Keith Giddens from Cartersville. The formation of the Conyers Stake puts the Conyers congregation at the center of activity for Church units from Jonesboro to Snellville.
About the creation of the new stake, Elder M. Keith Giddens said, "The Church continues to grow in the Atlanta area with the creation of the Conyers Georgia Stake. Members are excited about the opportunities that growth brings as they serve the Lord, each other, and their friends in the community."
The Conyers area has been home to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) since a small congregation was formed on February 13, 1975. Roger and Ann Jensen and their family were among the original members with the Jim and Nancy Shipp family joining in 1976. Together, these two families have seen The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grow in Conyers from that small 70's congregation to the new stake formed on March 6.